The Reserve team took a hard earned but important point to guarantee second place and promotion at Woodbury. The game had a certain surreal feel to it, being played on a piece of grass that had been deemed a pitch due to the two pieces of rusty metal dwelling in a couple of the larger ditches at each end. Surroundings to truly make you appreciate the facilities and set up at Cullompton. It was also just 70 minutes long in anticipation of the gloom accompanying the forecast torrential rain, which failed to materialise.
It was a much improved performance following the disappointing 2-1 defeat at the weekend. If anyone thinks they missed that match report, then fear not – it decided to take a post modern situationist stance and fail to turn up, in an attempt to represent the performance.
It was far from easy going against a Woodbury team who have dropped very few points at home and had recently held league winners Lapford to a draw for the second time in the season. Cullompton stated relatively well, exerting some pressure and looking secure at the back.
That all changed when a Woodbury corner was met on the volley from outside the area and flew into the top corner for a goal of the season contender which was totally out of place in the surroundings.
Thoughts that it had been foolish to agree to the shortened running time started to build when Woodbury were awarded an extremely harsh penalty for handball, the referee appearing to continue his harsh treatment of unfortunate Jamie Stone. The penalty was smoothly tucked away and suddenly Cullompton had a mountain to claim and limited time to do it – what idiot agreed to 70 minutes?!
Hope was provided by a goal moments before half time. Cullompton took a quick throw partly to try to ensure the referee didn’t realise it was Woodbury’s ball until too late. Some neat work from Audie Campbell and a classic Jame Cottrell finish and it was game on.
The second half continued much as the first had finished, with Cullompton failing to build on occasional moments of good football. The pitch was challenging to say the least, with even Garno’s normally cheerful demeanour disappearing as he fell down a ravine while trying to take a free kick. Thankfully he escaped serious injury and having to join the injured Aaron on the sidelines, recovering from a serious netball injury which has finished his season.
Hope appeared to be disappearing, but the character shown throughout the season was clearly on display as Luke Abrahams powered a header onto the bar with minutes to go. As Woodbury went down the other end and managed to head a great opportunity into the ground and over the bar, hope remained…
As Cullompton applied sustained pressure up to the final whistle the ball came to Cotts 6 yards out who finished with a trademark left foot… hang on, it was a header (although probably a left footed one). 2 each, with three seconds of normal time remaining.
A fantastic point in an unusual environment, and a tribute to the character shown throughout the season. One more game remains before the celebrations can truly kick off.
FINAL SCORE: Woodbury 2 – 2 Cullompton Rangers
Match Report by Dave Hawes